Shedra Amy Snipes, Ph.D., M.A.

Shedra Amy Snipes is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biobehavioral Health at Pennsylvania State University. Snipes received her master’s and doctoral degrees in bio-cultural anthropology from the University of Washington, and her bachelor’s in anthropology and human biology from Emory University. She is a 2006-2008 postdoctoral alumna of the Kellogg Health Scholars Program at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. She received additional postdoctoral training as a National Cancer Institute Cancer Education and Career Development Program Fellow at the University of Texas School of Public Health within the Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research.

Research Interests & Projects

As a bio-cultural anthropologist, Snipes explores intersections between biology, culture, folk beliefs, and health disparities research. Using a blend of ethnography and community-based risk assessment, she has amassed data showing that Mexican immigrant farmworkers (her primary research population) receive little in the way of culturally tailored pesticide education, not even receiving basic knowledge about what constitutes exposure. She has also successfully tested the feasibility of collecting longitudinal bio-specimens among migrating groups of Mexican farmworkers. Snipes’ most recent study, “The Migrant Farmworker Experience: An ‘Ethno-Occupational’ Health Assessment,” followed a community of migrant farmworkers as they traveled north from the Texas-Mexico border to find work. She provides new, useful data on cultural notions associated with pesticide exposure, occupational illness, injury, and healthcare access that can be used to plan relevant community interventions and help reduce occupational hazards among farmworkers.

Other Information:

Contact Address : 315 Health and Human Development East Building
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park PA 16802
814-865-4668 (office)
814-863-7525 (fax)

Contact Information:


King, D.W., Miranda, P.Y., Gor, B., Fuchs-Young, R., Chilton, J., Hajek, R., Torres-Vigil, Ilk, Hernandez-Valero, M., Snipes, S.A., Jones, L.H. (2010) Addressing Cancer Health Disparities Using a Global Biopsychosocial Approach. Cancer 116:264-269.

Snipes, S.A., Thompson, B., O’Connor, K., Shell-Duncan, B., King, D., Herrera, A.P., Navarro, B. (2009) Pesticides Protect the Fruit, But Not the People…Using Community-Based Ethnography to Understand Farmworker Pesticide Exposure Risks. Am J Public Health 99(S3):S16-S21. NIHMSID: 146435.

Herrera, A.P., Snipes, S.A., King, D.A., Torres, I., Laufman, L., Weinberg, A. Disparate inclusion of older adults in clinical trials: Priorities and Opportunities for policy and practice change. Am J Public Health. In press.

King, D, Snipes, S.A., Herrera, A.P., Jones, L.A.(2009) Health and Healthcare Perspectives of African American Residents of an Unincorporated Community: A Qualitative Assessment. Health and Place 15: 420-428.

Snipes, S.A., Thompson, B., O’Connor, K., Godina, R., Ibarra, G. (2007) An Anthropological and Psychological Merge: Design of a Stress Measure for Mexican Immigrant Farmworkers. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry. 31(3):359-388.

Thompson, B., Coronado, G., Islas, I., Snipes, S.A. (2003) Methodologic Advances and Ongoing Challenges in Designing Community-Based Health Promotion Programs. Annual Review of Public Health 24(20):1-26.